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Herbert Gold Biography

(1924– ), Birth of a Hero, The Prospect before Us, The Optimist, Salt

family novels american stories

American novelist, born in Cleveland, Ohio, educated at Columbia University and the Sorbonne. Gold's early novels, for example Birth of a Hero (1951) and The Prospect before Us (1954), are characteristic of much of the American realist writing of the 1950s, emphasizing the plight of the individual in a conformist society. His later novels, such as The Optimist (1959), are markedly less realist in their techniques and show a burgeoning preoccupation with parable and fable. Salt (1963) is a feverish portrait of the anonymity of New York City life executed through the points of view of the participants in a romantic triangle. Fathers: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir (1967) recounts Gold's family history over several generations and the process of ‘Americanization’ that the family underwent; Family: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir (1981) is a later reworking of the same technique, here again concerned with the history of a Jewish immigrant family. Other novels include He/She (1980), True Love (1982), and Mister White Eyes (1984). Gold is also an accomplished short-story writer and a witty, trenchant essayist; the early stories are collected in Fifteen by Three (1957) and Love and Like (1960), his essays in The Age of Happy Problems (1962) and First Person Singular: Essays for the Sixties (1963). His other works include Fiction of the Fifties: A Decade of American Writing (1959), Stories of Modern America (1961), The Magic Will: Stories and Essays of a Decade (1971), and an autobiography, My Last Two Thousand Years (1972).

Michael Gold, pseudonym of Itzok Granich Biography - (1893–1967), pseudonym of Itzok Granich, Masses, The Liberator, New Masses [next]

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